Caltrans announces projected opening date for Hwy. 1 at Mud Creek Slide

Rebuilding Highway 1 over the Mud Creek Slide will likely take until late next summer at a price tag of $40 million, Caltrans announced Friday.

May’s massive slide about 9 miles north of the Monterey County line reshaped an iconic stretch of California coastline and left engineers with a daunting task.

A news release from Caltrans on Friday announced the projected timeline and said the new roadway will traverse over the slide area, “using a series of embankments, berms, rocks, netting, culverts and other stabilizing material.”

“We are working to safely rebuild the road in this complex and unpredictable area,” Caltrans District 5 director Tim Gubbins said in the release. “We understand how much this road closure has impacted the counties of San Luis Obispo and Monterey, and we appreciate everyone’s patience and support as we work to open the highway.

“Caltrans is committed to restoring this vital link to and from Big Sur as quickly and safely as possible.”

The timeline for rebuilding is dependent on this winter’s weather conditions, the release said.

Caltrans plans to continuing working with various state, local and federal resource agencies and the Big Sur community until the highway is reopened.

At the north end of Big Sur, work continues on the new Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, which is slated to open in a matter of weeks.

Girders for the new span crossed the 300-foot canyon late last month and were being lowered into their final position this week, according to Caltrans, which hopes to have an update next week on the projected completion date.

Elsewhere, Paul’s Slide, 21 miles north of the Monterey County line, remains active, but the road there is open to one-way reversing traffic. Flaggers are being replaced by a traffic signal and temporary guardrail in the center line, with that work expected to be done next week.

The 35-mile stretch of Highway 1 between Gorda and Pfeiffer Canyon continues to be accessible only from inland via Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. Local businesses are open on both sides of the closure points at Pfeiffer Canyon and Salmon Creek.

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